After weeks of anticipation and hearings, HB 500 passed the NC House of Representatives missing two key provisions. The controversial, and truly game-changing provisions concerning self-distribution and franchise reform were completely removed from the bill in the face of clear opposition from legislative leadership.
So what’s left? HB500 is absolutely still worth supporting, albeit far less sexy than it used to be. Remaining provisions will allow NC’s brewers to:
- bring taproom operations up to industry best practices;
- allow sampling on the production side for sensory analysis and quality control;
- harmonize with federal law allowing off-site storage when production outstrips warehouse space;
- fill crowlers;
- transport home brew for competitions and events, and more (read a detailed summary here).
Is it law yet? Heck no. HB 500 will undergo several committee hearings as it is considered by the NC Senate during the 2017-18 legislative session.
Are we super bummed out? Well, we’re certainly disappointed. This bill was the first shot at a hugely ambitious agenda for NC’s craft brewers, and the groundswell of public support from brewers, home brewers, craft beer fans, local food evangelists and free market champions has convinced us that freedom for craft brewers is an idea whose time has come.
We don’t stop here friends – this is the start of a long fermentation process and we’re just pitching the yeast. Thanks for all your support, and please stick with us as we brew on!
P.S. Want to give a shout out to some legislative champions? Take a minute to say thanks to the hard-working bill sponsors, and let them know you’re with them til we win this thing:
Representative Chuck McGrady (Henderson county) 919-733-5956 Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net
Representative Bill Brawley (Mecklenburg) 919-733-5800 Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net
Representative Jon Hardister (Guilford county) 919-733-5191 jon.Hardister@ncleg.net
Representative Pricey Harrison (Guilford county) 919-733-5771 Pricey.Harrison@ncleg.net